Inspector OgunyemI Olalekan of the Gbagada division of the Lagos State Police Command’s Special Anti Cultism Squad (SACS) has explained his version of the events that led to the fatal shooting of Kolade Johnson.
Johnson was killed on Sunday, March 31, 2019 when officers of the unit, led by Olalekan, were attempting to arrest another man because of his dreadlocks in the Mangoro area of the state.
When he was paraded alongside Sergeant Godwin Orji as the main suspects in Johnson’s shooting on Tuesday, April 2, Olalekan said he didn’t intend to shoot the deceased father of one.
According to him, he only shot once in the air after his team was mobbed while trying to arrest a suspected cultist.
He said, “We heard a distress call that we should move to Mangoro. So, on getting there, we saw a group of guys smoking Indian hemp. We thought they’re cultists and effected an arrest there.
“Suddenly, they mobbed us, me and my boys. So, in terms of escaping them, I fired up.
“I didn’t know how it got to meet the guy in question that was shot dead, I don’t know. I only fired one up.”
Contrary to Olalekan’s version of events, an eyewitness, identified as Mr. Nana, who was with Johnson when he was shot, said Olalekan trained his gun on them.
“Kolade stood right beside me, he didn’t talk. I was the one that spoke. Next thing I saw was he pointed a gun at us and shot twice,” he said.
Nana said he and Kolade left the relaxation spot where they were watching an English Premier League game on Sunday after hearing pleas for help outside.
They discovered that the officers were trying to arrest Ismail Folorunsho, a young man who appeared to have been targeted for arrest because of his dreadlocks, a common practice by the anti-cultism unit.
Folorunsho told Channels Television that he was trying to board a bus when an officer came out of nowhere to arrest him.
He said attempts to question the officers about why he was being arrested and where he was being taken to led to him being assaulted.
The struggle that ensued was what drew Nana and Johnson to where the fatal shooting eventually happened.
READ ALSO:LUTH DOCTOR STABBED TO DEATH HOURS AFTER GRADUATION
Johnson’s killing has led to widespread calls for the implementation of meaningful police reform to curb brutality unleashed on helpless citizens.
Many protests are already scheduled to take place across the country on Friday, April 5 to enforce the demands.
The protests primarily target the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), another notorious unit whose streak of misconducts has made the face of Police brutality in the country.
Senate President Bukola Saraki revealed on Monday that a report on the Police Reform Bill will be laid before the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday, April 9. The bill passed second reading in the Senate in July 2018.